Tag Archive for traffic safety

Morning Links: Ryu keeps 6th Street auto-centric & dangerous, bike-riding heroes, and the war on bikes goes on

Just a quick reminder that tonight is the LACBC’s annual open house at their headquarters in DTLA. It’s free for members, and always a good time for a good cause. And a chance to meet some of the people helping lead the fight for a safer, more bikeable Los Angeles.

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In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone, Councilmember David Ryu has blocked plans for a road diet on 6th Street, bowing to the desires of pass-through drivers over the safety requests from the local neighborhood council.

Even though Ryu has always claimed he’d let local residents guide his decisions.

However, reports from people involved in the long and unsuccessful fight for a safer 6th suggested that he had long ago decided against the road diet, and that the recent public hearing and online poll were just a political fig leaf to give Ryu cover to go against the wishes of local residents.

Just as Gil Cedillo had conducted a number of sham public meetings before announcing his foregone decision to halt the shovel-ready road diet on North Figueroa that had been approved by his predecessor.

Consider this from Streetsblog’s story following Ryu’s public announcement yesterday morning.

Ryu hosted a meeting in October which featured inaccurate presentation boards. Meeting attendees were requested to fill out a survey that did not include the two options presented, nor the road diet plan as designed by LADOT and disseminated by MCWCC. Though the survey did not mention the road diet, according to Ryu, the survey results showed that only “Roughly 37 percent expressed support for a proposed road diet.”

Misleadingly, Ryu’s statement, and his website’s summary of survey results, relate that the survey found “Nearly 85 percent of respondents stated that a car is their primary mode of transportation,” though that question was not asked. Ryu’s survey asked respondents to “check all that apply” on a list of transportation modes that they use on 6th Street, so it is not mathematically possible to derive a valid percentage for car usage, much less whether a car is a respondent’s primary mode of transportation.

Instead, Ryu is going forward with his own dangerously auto-centric plan that residents fear will actually increase speeds on the street, while he downplays the dangers of speeding drivers — let alone the risk posed by drivers adhering to the already too-high speed limit.

Never mind that speed is a factor in virtually all traffic fatalities, since crashes at slower speeds are far more survivable than higher speeds.

You can read the full text of Ryu’s announcement here, along with Mid City West Community Council Chair Scott Epstein’s response.

I’ll leave you with this comment I received from one local resident.

I live on Hauser and 6th and can’t say how disappointed I am in the councilman. His half measure doesn’t even address the goal he says is the most important. His goal of adding turn lanes doesn’t extend past Burnside, leaving the site of a fatal crash on Cochran unaddressed.

I’ve been vocal about my support of the road diet and have felt dismissed and disregarded throughout. I’m incredibly disappointed in his lack of foresight, especially as he toots his own horn for adding dockless bike share with nowhere safe to ride them. It’s disgraceful the utter lack of infrastructure in our district, and ignorant of the issues facing our densifying city.

Thanks to Danila and Tyler for the heads-up.

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Once again, bike riders are heroes. Or make that twice.

A Greenfield CA cyclist trained in CPR saves the life of a man who collapsed on the side of the road.

A bike rider not only fishes a puppy out of a Vietnamese river, he uses his water bottle as a makeshift ventilator to get the dog breathing again.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes goes on.

A British bike rider was injured when two men on a passing scooter pushed him off his bicycle and into traffic.

A legendary Scottish rugby player was pelted with eggs from a passing car as he rode his bike in Glasgow.

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This is the cost of traffic violence.

A world famous biologist and conservation scientist was killed in a collision while riding his bicycle in Cambridge, England.

A respected former Brown University engineering professor and real estate developer was killed in a Manhattan crash when he allegedly rode through a red light.

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‘Tis the season.

Members of the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers surprised students and staff at a Carson elementary school by giving new bicycles to nearly 150 kids, after originally showing up to give bikes to just five essay contest winners.

An Arizona program plans to give 116 kids  “better than new” refurbished bicycles this Christmas.

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It’s Day 14 of the 3rd Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

You can help keep SoCal’s best bike news coming your way with just a few clicks by using PayPal. Or by using the Zelle app that is probably already in the banking app on your smartphone; send your contribution to ted @ bikinginla dot com (remove the spaces and format as a standard email address).

Any donation, in any amount, is truly and deeply appreciated.

As an added bonus, frequent contributor Megan Lynch will provide a free download of her CD Songs the Brothers Warner Taught Me to anyone who makes a contribution during the fund drive. If you’ve already contributed and would like a copy, just email me at the address above and I’ll forward it to her.

Thanks to Bryan Z, Jonathan P, and Dennis E for their generous donations to help support this site. It means a lot to me, especially on a day when we went dark.

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Local

As long as we’re discussing wrong-headed decisions by LA councilmembers, this one by Paul Koretz asking to have dangerous sidewalks removed from the prioritization for Vision Zero sets a new standard for dangerously low safety standards.

Downtown News says construction for the My Figueroa project is blocking parking spaces on 11th Street, and killing local businesses.

Walk Eagle Rock reports that three different dockless bikeshare providers — LimeBike, Ofo and Spin — can now be found on decidedly bike-unfriendly North Figueroa in Highland Park. Meanwhile, dockless bikeshare is driving bike ridership trends up in some cities across the US. Let’s hope that happens here and forces the city council to take notice.

 

State

The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition will host an ‘80s themed Joy Ride to celebrate the organization’s 30th anniversary.

No bias here. San Luis Obispo’s anti-bike columnist creates the new religion of “Bikeology,” which he says rhymes with “Scientology,” as he insists the city council’s 11th Commandment is “Thou shalt bike!” Works for me.

A Los Altos columnist addresses the objections to a proposed Idaho Stop law in California.

Bike theft is nothing new. Stealing a San Francisco bike repair van may be.

A compromise with the San Francisco Fire Department means the parking spaces for a parking-protected bike lane planned for Market Street will be converted to a white loading zones instead.

When you see a homeless person on a $3,000 bike, there’s a good possibility it’s not his.

 

National

The National Complete Streets Coalition says no street is complete unless equity is taken into account.

Who needs a tent when you can travel with your very own bicycle camper?

The Seattle Times profiles the city’s chief traffic engineer and his efforts to reduce congestion and improve safety in the city.

A Colorado bike rider is dead because a driver couldn’t manage to keep her eyes on the road while turning off her car’s sound system. If you can’t perform a function while keeping your eyes on the road and at least one hand on the wheel, don’t do it. Period.

A 7-year old boy in Vicksburg MS gets a new bike as a reward, after the mayor sees him stop and put his hand over his heart when a funeral procession passed.

Caught on video: Florida police are looking for a man on a bicycle who shot at an officer who tried to pull him over for not having a taillight.

A Florida man has been arrested for the hit-and-run that killed a woman, who had been rescued from Hurricane Irma weeks earlier, while she was riding her bike last week.

 

International

Dockless bikeshare provider Obike is the latest company to suffer a data breach, exposing user information online for at least two weeks.

Seriously? A British Columbia man faces just a slap on the wrist for killing a bike rider when he crossed onto the wrong side of the road and slammed his car into five cyclists riding single file in the opposite direction.

A Toronto bike lane is a bike lane except when it’s hearse parking. Meanwhile, a Toronto man got his stolen $3,000 mountain bike back after he discovered it on Facebook 8,500 miles away in the Philippines Thanks to Norm Bradwell for the links.

Also from Toronto — and also courtesy of Bradwell — comes news that bicycling rates are surging in some neighborhoods, with up to 34% of people living in the downtown area reporting they commute by bike.

A new study from the UK suggests that the health risks from pollution outweighs the benefits of exercise along smoggy streets for people over 60. Meanwhile, another report says watching bicycling on virtual reality headsets could make people 40% more likely to take up bicycling.

It takes a real schmuck to steal the bicycle an English firefighter used to respond to emergency calls.

A Dublin, Ireland bike rider died following a collision with a pedestrian on a bike path. A tragic reminder that collisions between pedestrians and bike riders can be just as dangerous for the people on two wheels as the ones on two feet.

Two Northern Irish brothers got busted for selling $146,000 worth of bicycles on eBay that were stolen from a local bike store warehouse.

A British writer living in Denmark says there’s no need to rush to the gym when you can just run your kids to daycare in a cargo bike.

The Guardian asks if the famed Paris Vélib’ bikeshare system is already out of date.

An LA native discovers a deep connection with Israel from the seat of her bike.

Five battalions of Borneo soldiers are riding 614 miles on a good will tour to introduce the newly formed Border Guards.

 

Competitive Cycling

Irish cyclist Sam Bennett is rapidly becoming one of the fasted sprinters in the peloton, after choosing cycling over soccer at an early age.

UCI says after further review, Peter Sagan didn’t intentionally elbow Mark Cavendish after all, which led to his disqualification from the Tour de France; Peter Flax offers his own dramatization of those crucial 15 seconds.

VeloNews looks at next year’s pro team kits.

Phil Gaimon isn’t the only ex-pro chasing KOMs, as former Bora-Argon 18 rider Bartosz Huzarski is the new king of a Himalayan mountain.

After retiring as a cyclist, Britain’s five-time Olympic champ Bradley Wiggins is taking a crack at the country’s Olympic rowing team.

Join the Air Force, ride a bike.

 

Finally…

What every BMX rider dreams of — a $3,200 haute couture bike. Your next cycling jersey could be seven recycled plastic bottles.

And we may have to deal with impatient drivers, but at least we don’t have to worry about getting trampled by wild elephants.

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On a personal note, thank you to everyone who reached out to me yesterday for their kind words and support. You really lifted my spirits on a day when I felt like I’d let you down for not writing anything.

 

Morning Links: Anti-road diet NIMBYs boycott businesses, road safety in LA & Houston, and New Yorker bike covers

Last month, the road diets in Playa del Rey were ripped out before they had a chance to prove whether they were working.

Now we know why.

A must-read tweetstorm from writer Peter Flax, who served on Councilmember Mike Bonin’s ill-fated committee to re-examine the lane reductions, reveals that the primary reason behind their removal was the negative effect they were having on local business.

Which wasn’t coincidental.

He offers a number of social media posts in which opponents of the road diets call for a boycott of businesses in the area to force them to oppose the safety measures. Which were then echoed by anti-road diet forces like Keep LA Moving — whose leader actually lives in Manhattan Beach — Recall Bonin, and conservative radio hosts John and Ken.

And now the same tactics are being used in Mar Vista, where the owner of Louie’s restaurant blamed the lane reductions in the Venice Blvd Great Streets Project for the failure of his restaurant.

Even though it had just reopened after being closed for a vermin infestation. And even though it had a meager 2.5 Yelp rating. And even though a new chef insisted on making much hated changes to the place, including a new upscale menu, that drove longtime customers away.

But sure, let’s blame the removal of excess lane capacity, which didn’t result in the loss of a single parking space.

Despite, as Peter notes, numerous studies from around the country showing that Complete Streets projects like the one on Venice are good for business — including one on LA’s York Blvd, which has thrived since a road diet went in.

Of course, that doesn’t fit with the NIMBY narrative that Vision Zero and road diets are the work of Satan himself.

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A powerful piece from Los Angeles resident and Houston native Colleen Corcoran compares the traffic safety problems and struggle to improve safety for bike riders and pedestrians in the two cities.

Corcoran, a co-founder of CicLAvia, says no one should die as a result of thoughtless street design — after her own mother was killed riding her bike through a dangerous Houston intersection earlier this year.

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We’ve mentioned this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again. An online petition opposes a proposal allowing a private school to take over a public road in Calabasas, which is a popular route allowing bicyclists to bypass traffic on busy Mulholland Highway. Thanks to Steve S. for the reminder.

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A new Flickr page offers an exceptional collection of bicycling covers from the New Yorker dating back to the 1920s.

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An Irish pundit apologized for calling bike riders Nazis, and swore he would never give a Nazi salute again.

Of course, his apology was to a local Jewish organization, not to the people he accused of being a brown-shirt uniformed, two-wheeled cult.

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Local

Construction for the MyFigueroa project is getting blamed for some of the parking problems in South Park, even though it has the support of local businesses.

A December 2nd exhibition at the LA Central Library in DTLA will feature makers, including an LA man who explores “unique bicycle shapes and designs.”

The Daily News reports on Saturday’s Finish the Ride event in Sunland-Tujunga in honor of fallen bicyclist Jeff Knopp.

 

State

Advocates for the homeless insist that the 1,000 bikes found after a homeless camp along the Santa Ana River Trail was cleared out had nothing to do with the people who had been living there, since they were found in a tunnel over two miles away.

A Huntington Beach man gets six years behind bars for attacking a police officer who stopped his son for a traffic violation while they were riding their bikes; the younger man had already been sentenced to seven years after pleading guilty last year.

Apple is donating $1.8 million to build a protected bike lane in Cupertino.

Two thousand Bay Area cyclists, joggers, skaters and strollers gear up for Thanksgiving with a 2.5 mile carfree Sunday.

 

National

Denver voted for $431 million in transportation bonds, including $18 million for bicycle projects.

Plans are underway for a program that could link Wyoming’s bike trails into a statewide network.

Sad news, as the 88-year old founder of Iowa’s legendary RAGBRAI passed away last week.

A 21-mile Ohio bike path connects local four breweries and a cider house.

Now that’s more like it. A Kentucky driver gets 35 years for the drunk and stoned hit-and-run death of a bike rider; he drove three miles after the crash with his dying victim still in the bed of his truck.

Evidently Los Angeles isn’t the only place where NIMBYs want to rip out recently installed bike lanes; outraged Cambridge, Mass residents working under the misnomer Safe Streets for All are demanding that the lanes be redesigned and parking restored, and want bike riders to be required to carry ID.

A New Jersey paper says the state’s new governor should embrace multi-use bike and pedestrian trails.

 

International

A Mexican TV executive was shot to death on Sunday when a group of thieves attempted to steal his bicycle on the outskirts of Mexico City.

Forget Everesting. A Vancouver bicyclist climbed one million feet by riding up a local mountain every day for a year to raise funds to fight pancreatic cancer.

Toronto drivers appear to be adjusting to the presence of bike lanes after initial anger. Which is usually what happens if authorities can resist the urge to rip them out before they have a chance to succeed.

A new survey shows four out of five people in the UK want protected bike lanes in cities.

Good question. The Guardian’s Peter Walker asks why cyclists are the one minority the BBC is okay with demonizing. Although there’s no point in limiting it to the Beeb, as media outlets around the world are perfectly okay with attacking people who ride bikes in ways they wouldn’t anyone else. Including right here in LA.

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson says Britain’s streets aren’t big enough for buses and bikes, and one of them has to go.

The Guardian asks if Copenhagen has hit peak bicycle, as ridership dips and more drivers take to the roads.

Not surprisingly, the best way to tour Soweto, South Africa is by bicycle. Like pretty much any other city you could name.

An Aussie cyclist was deliberately run off the road by a road raging driver after attempting to intervene in his dispute with another motorist. Meanwhile, an Australian councilor calls for an ad hoc committee to find solutions to road rage between motorists and cyclists. Never mind that most of the anger comes from the people in the cars. And they’re the ones with the four-wheeled weapons.

A new Australian study confirms that people who ride bikes are better drivers.

Singapore’s largest organized bike ride draws 6,500 riders, including many dressed as superheroes.

An industrial design student wins an Asian award for his wooden children’s bicycle that converts from a balance bike to a pedal bike as the kids get older.

 

Competitive Cycling

Britain’s Team Sky is accused of gaming the system for therapeutic exemptions that allow riders to use otherwise banned medications.

Fabian Cancellara challenges fellow retired pro Phil Gaimon to beat him in one of Fabian’s fondos, after Gaimon’s new book repeated accusations that Cancellara was motor doping, somehow thinking it would be no big deal. And no, this isn’t beginning to sound the least like a cycling soap opera.

The Daily Beast remembers Italian cycling legend Gino Bartali and his top secret work to save Jews in WWII, as the Giro make plans to start in Jerusalem next year.

VeloNews calls 16-year old Katie Clouse the next star of US cyclocross.

 

Finally…

If you’re riding while already on probation, probably best to leave the meth and dope at home. Your next bike helmet could have an airbag.

And this is why you don’t Instagram while riding.

 

Morning Links: Indignorant anti-road diet columnist, bike riders on the wrong end of guns, and more traffic mayhem

So wrong, in so many ways.

A columnist for the LA Daily News goes out of her way to demonstrate her near total ignorance of traffic safety, Vision Zero and “dangerous” road diets in a column saying the latter belongs in a Museum of Stupid Ideas.

Never mind that road diets have been shown to increase safety up to 47%. But why let a little detail like that get in the way of a good rant?

Then there’s her screed about Vision Zero coming from — gasp! — Sweden.

Common sense would tell you that traffic solutions should be developed locally without guidance from irrelevant foreign capitals, and that’s why common sense is not in the museum.

During 2016, the first full year of Vision Zero’s implementation in Los Angeles, fatalities in traffic collisions were up a horrifying 43 percent over the previous year.

Although she might have mentioned that all LA did in 2016 was develop a plan for Vision Zero. And to the best of my knowledge, talking about reducing traffic deaths has never caused a single collision.

Or that the purpose of Vision Zero is not to prevent traffic collisions, but to keep people from dying in them, by recognizing that people will always make mistakes, but better roadway designs can keep those mistakes from killing someone.

And never mind that virtually every traffic solution currently in use in LA came from somewhere else. From traffic lights and stop signs, to the billion dollar HOV lanes on the 405.

About the only innovation we can claim is the right turn on red light. Which isn’t exactly a template for safety.

But the topper is this one, where she goes out of her way to have it both ways.

Although city officials consulted extensively with community groups before turning eight-tenths of a mile of Venice Boulevard into one of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Great Streets,” the part of the plan that involved taking away a traffic lane in each direction wasn’t exactly displayed on street banners.

So she acknowledges that the city conducted extensive outreach. Then turns around and says it didn’t do enough outreach.

Maybe next time she should do a little basic research so she knows what the hell she’s talking about before flying off the handle.

Or wasting newsprint with uninformed drivel like this.

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Today’s common theme is bikes and guns.

There are still no suspects in the fatal shooting of a popular Colorado mountain biker as he was riding last week; his body was discovered days later next to a trail.

A Florida bike rider was shot by a driver in an apparent road rage incident; no word on the condition of the victim.

And compared to the previous two cases, a Pennsylvania bicyclist got off easy when an angry driver merely pointed his gun at him following an argument.

Of course, if the drivers had just used their cars instead, it would have been written off as just an accident.

And the bike riders would have been blamed for it.

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Today’s other common theme is the more traditional form of traffic violence.

A pair of Oklahoma men tried to cover-up a fatal hit-and-run collision by intentionally driving into a highway guard rail to hide the damage from hitting a bike rider.

A Missouri man was doing 93 in a 35 mph zone — and driving on a suspended license — when he slammed into a bicyclist last year; he now faces a charge of first-degree involuntary manslaughter.

A Wisconsin man was turned in by his own wife following a drunken hit-and-run that took the life of man riding a bicycle.

An 83-year old Michigan man faces a misdemeanor charge after killing one bicyclist and injuring another in a rear-end collision last year. Older people may depend on their cars for mobility, but we’ve got to find a way to get them off the roads before it’s too late.

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Dutch cyclist Annemiek van Vleuten bounced back from her horrific crash in the Rio Olympics road cycling race to win world championship in the time trial yesterday.

If you’ve ever questioned how tough women cyclists really are, consider this video of British cyclist Lauren Dolan celebrating her 18th birthday by finishing the time trial despite a horrific leg injury suffered when she hit a manhole cover. Thanks to Jon for the heads-up.

https://twitter.com/JamieHaughey/status/909870748549943296/video/1

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Local

Letter writers in the Times say dark tinted windows on cars make it more dangerous for bike riders and pedestrians.

Los Angeles is planning for temporary walkways and bike paths in the recently purchased Taylor Yards railroad site, while plans are developed for a permanent park.

Curbed examines the future of bikeshare in the City of Angels.

Doris Day used to be one of us, riding her bicycle through Beverly Hills to rescue stray animals.

The Beach Reporter looks at Manhattan Beach resident Evens Stievenart’s new world record in the Le Mans Pearl Izumi 24 Hours Cycling race

 

State

Nice story from San Diego, where a nearly blind 94-year old woman took her first bike ride in 15 years on the back of a tandem as part of a Dreams Do Come True program at an Escondido retirement community.

The new dockless bikeshare bikes in San Diego’s Imperial Beach are already getting trashed by users and vandals, less than two weeks after their introduction.

A three mile Wildomar bike lane project has been put on hold after all the bids came in over budget.

A Riverside columnist explain what those green patches in the bike lanes are all about.

Speaking in Oakland, a traffic engineer says protected bike lanes must be the new normal, and urban planners are still trying to undo the damage caused by vehicular cyclists in the 1970s and 80s.

Jens Voigt returns to Marin County to headline the third annual Jensie Gran Fondo of Marin,

 

National

A new study shows teens are increasingly putting off drinking, driving and sex. Which makes sense, since the last one seldom happened without the first two, anyway.

No overreaction here, as TV’s Inside Edition says groups of crazed cyclists are causing “absolute mayhem in the streets.” Meanwhile, a group of young bike riders tried to prove them right by ignoring a ban on bikes to take over New York’s Cross Bronx Expressway.

Houston residents are donating bicycles to help people who lost their cars in Hurricane Harvey.

Kellen Winslow II is one of us, as he tries to sell the home he bought in the Texas hills in hopes of becoming the first pro football player to turn pro cyclist.

A New York woman confirms that riding across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the city’s most difficult commutes, even if it was better than she expected.

Curbed talks with Philadelphia’s biggest bike advocate.

 

International

Edinburg, Scotland is waiting to give hometown hero Mark Beaumont the welcome he’s earned after a record-breaking 79-day bike ride around the world.

A British personal injury lawyer says the laws must be changed to clarify the rights and obligations of bicyclists, and protect riders who hit someone while riding in a bike lane.

A New Zealand cyclist calls for ripping out a new separated bike lane, after first assuring us he’s one of the good ones — not, he insists, a spandex clad rider on a $5,000 carbon fiber bike, or someone who insists on slowly taking the lane at rush hour.

 

Finally…

Apparently, you’re more dangerous than a truck. And everything you always wanted to know about bicycling in Bogotá but were afraid to ask.

Thanks to Dennis Eckhart for his generous donation to help support this site. Or maybe just help pay for that new hard drive.

 

Morning Links: NTSB report concludes speed kills, Press-Enterprise misses the mark, and a new SoCal bike film

Traffic safety advocates already know that speed kills.

One of the basic tenets behind Vision Zero states that a pedestrian — or bike rider — hit at a speed of 20 mph has a far greater chance of survival than one hit at 40 mph or higher.

A difference of a 10% chance of death at 20 mph versus 80% at 40, according to one federal government study.

Although a study by AAA cites a much lower risk of death at similar speeds.

Now the National Transportation Safety Board — the group that brought you air bags and graduated driver’s licenses for teens — says speeding is responsible for roughly as many deaths as both drunk driving and not wearing a seat belt.

And they say it’s long past time to do something about it.

That something ranges from automated speed cameras — currently illegal in California — and cars that alert drivers when they’re exceeding the speed limit, to a national anti-speeding campaign and changes in how speed limits are set.

And yes, it also includes the sort of lane reductions that have been much maligned in Playa del Rey and Mar Vista. Even though they’ve proven hugely successful in improving safety and revitalizing Santa Monica’s Main Street and York Blvd in Northeast LA.

So, increasingly, traffic engineers are trying to design roads that reflect the needs of all users, not just motorists. “The design of a facility can help send the message of what the proper speed is and encourage people to drive at that speed rather than a faster speed,” Lindley says.

The NTSB report did not explore the issue of road design, and that’s a missed opportunity, says Atherton, the director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. “You have to pair speed limits with physical traffic-calming measures for them to be effective,” she says. “Just lowering the speed limits is insufficient.”

One of the NTSB commissioners asked the agency’s researchers during their presentation why road design wasn’t emphasized in the report. One of the authors said that other publications, like street designs by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the Federal Highway Association already explained in great detail how to improve road design to improve safety.

The people fighting to have the lane reductions ripped out insist they’re not anti-safety.

In which case, they need to step up and work with those who have already been focused on improving traffic safety, rather than just standing in the way of community-driven improvements.

Because speed kills.

And it’s already taken far too many of us.

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The Riverside Press-Enterprise tried to clarify California bike laws after getting the rules on sidewalk riding wrong.

Yet they still get it wrong when they say that bicyclists have to use bike lanes when they’re available, but fail to point out that bike riders can legally ride on any public street, with or without a bike lane or sharrows, with the exception of some limited access freeways.

Or that bicyclists are legally allowed to ride in the center of the lane on any right-hand lane that’s too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle. Which is the case on most of the roadways in LA County, and many in the rest of Southern California.

Although nothing says riders have to take the lane if they’re not comfortable there. Even though riding to far right increases the risk of unsafe passing by motorists.

And if bicyclists are traveling with the speed of traffic, they can legally ride anywhere on the road they damn well want to, as long as they travel in the direction of traffic.

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A new experimental film dropping this weekend paints a portrait of Southern California’s Cryptic Cycles, award winner at the 2016 North American Handmade Bicycle Show.

The trailer below offers a first look at what the filmmaker describes as “the unique handmade build process of crafting a one-of-a-kind carbon fiber bike frameset and the amazing feeling it gives you on your first ride.”

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Ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis talks with Cycling News, saying nothing has really changed since he broke cycling’s omertà.

VeloNews says the Colorado Classic represents the future of bike racing, while the Denver Post offers some great photos from last weekend’s race.

Riders in the Tour of Britain could be breaking the law when one stage starts in a town where bicycling is banned in the city center.

Food & Wine examines the decidedly non-gourmet 7,000-calorie diet of a professional cyclist.

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Local

LA Downtown News explains what happened to the protected bike lane and other streetscape improvements that were promised as part of the Wilshire Grand construction project; city officials insist it’s still coming as part of a longer corridor improvement project leading into the Arts district.

Plans for safety improvements on North Figueroa are on hold, as Roadkill Gil Cedillo attempts to block any road diets in his district without his prior approval. Which would simply codify the virtual fiefdoms councilmembers currently enjoy in their districts, but for just him.

A smart essay on the Los Angeles Walks website says Vista del Mar offers a sad but instructive lesson for LA, and calls for more productive conversations to ensure pedestrians are protected.

 

State

The husband of an Encinitas hit-and-run victim calls for help in finding the coward who left his bike-riding wife lying injured in the street.

Great idea. The annual Victor Valley Bicycle Tour has donated 600 traffic signs promoting California’s three-foot passing law, to be posted in Apple Valley, Hesperia, Victorville and San Bernardino County.

A local TV station talks with the Atascadero man who won this year’s Tour Divide, despite being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last year.

Tragic news from Fresno, where a 51-year old bike rider was killed after allegedly running a red light.

Streetsblog looks at last week’s pop-up protected bike lane in San Jose.

 

National

Bicycle Times offers advice on how to pack your bike for travel. Or better yet, you could just pack your panniers and ride it there.

Post-Charlottesville, conservative media sites are deciding that maybe it’s not a good idea to encourage people to drive through protesters. Although conservative lawmakers don’t seem to be getting the message. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.

The Today Show profiles a DC doctor who only makes house calls — often by bicycle.

A Savannah GA weekly says widening roads can make them more dangerous, rather than the other way around. Which is putting it mildly.

A Florida business is raising funds to build a new custom bicycle, compete with speakers, for the town’s “bike man” after his was destroyed in a collision that left him hospitalized.

This is why so many people hate lawyers. A Florida attorney blames the hospital for a bicyclist’s death, even though the victim wouldn’t have been there if his client hadn’t dragged the man under his car for two miles following a collision, then dumped him into a trash bin.

 

International

Caught on video: A road raging Brazilian driver rams a bicyclist from behind, then repeatedly runs up onto his bicycle before the rider jumps up onto the hood of the car to keep him from fleeing. That last part’s not smart, as we saw in this week’s Long Beach crash.

A Vancouver cyclist is doing a double Everest — 58,058 feet of vertical climbing — to fight depression.

The war on bikes continues, as someone strung fishing line at neck height across a popular English biking trail. A particularly dangerous crime, since fishing line tends to be virtually invisible, even in daylight.

Caught on video too: A bike rider suffers a too close call in the British equivalent of a right hook.

Cyclists in South Africa’s Western Cape region complain about life-threatening drivers who run them off the road. More proof that you’ll find LA drivers everywhere.

Gold medal-winning Australian track cyclist Stephen Wooldridge died at age 39 after taking his own life; like many athletes, he struggled to cope after his cycling career ended.

The vice mayor of Brisbane, Australia calls for scrapping the country’s mandatory bike helmet law.

 

Finally…

Just because a bridge doesn’t have a bikeway doesn’t mean you can’t find a scary way across. Your next smart bike could cost 1999 yuan.

And it’s easy to go incognito on a bicycle.

Even if you’re dressed in spandex shorts and a hunting shirt.

 

Morning Links: Vista del Mar timetable released, LADOT Active Transportation Staff grows, and a little good bike news

One important note before we get started.

A Twitter account recently came to my attention for an organization incorrectly claiming to be “LA’s #1 walking & biking advocacy group.”

This same group, Westside Walkers LA, also falsely claims to be sponsored by the city.

However, the only Westside Walkers group that appears to actually exist as anything other than a Twitter account is a mall walking group sponsored by UCLA Health.

Last night, they misrepresented themselves as being associated with, and one of the founders of, this website and/or the associated Twitter account @bikinginla.

Just to be clear, neither this group or its Twitter account, or any person(s) responsible for it, are associated with BikinginLA, or its Twitter account or Facebook page, in any way whatsoever. Nor are any other social media accounts or organizations, on any platform.

If you become aware of anyone falsely claiming to represent this site, whether online or in person, please contact me immediately at the address on the About BikinginLA page.

Thank you.

………

A timetable has been released for the restoration of two travel lanes on Vista del Mar in Playa del Rey, following the uproar from inconvenienced commuters after they were removed in an effort to improve safety.

The lanes, not the commuters.

Although that would probably improve safety, too.

The Daily News reports the work will begin on August 21st, and take two to three weeks to complete.

Never mind the misleading headline, which a) incorrectly implies there are bike lanes on Vista del Mar, and b) suggests that the other recent lane reductions in the area, which do have bike lanes, are also being removed.

They’re not.

Although not everyone is happy about the change back.

I’ve been copied on an email to a representative of the Coastal Commission from a rider named Gregory, who’s fighting a rearguard action to keep the changes in place.

Hello! I’m a resident of Los Angeles in Mike Bonin’s district. I just left you a voicemail. I’m concerned that Los Angeles is planning to remove the parking along Vista del Mar and thereby adversely affect beach access for Californians.

Recently a road diet was implemented on Vista Del Mar and Culver Blvds because of the dangerousness of the area and settlements paid to dead pedestrians.  The road diet created a bottleneck and caused a large amount of delays for commuters. However, after a recent reconfiguration and change to the light timing, any delays seem to have disappeared.

I drove the road three times on rush hour last Tuesday. I videoed one trip which I could share if needed. At 7:0 am it took about 7:30 to get from Imperial to Jefferson, at 830 am it took about 9:15, and at 930am it only took 6 minutes and I drove the speed limit the entire time and was first in line at the one light that caught me.

So once again, the problems with traffic really seem to have gone away and actually driving down Vista del Mar was pleasant! I didn’t have to worry about someone passing me at 60 mph and zooming from lane to lane. Hopefully that lane can remain gone. However, Mike Bonin’s office has recently come out and said that they will change the road back to two lanes and remove parking along Vista del Mar. This concerns me, as that would lead to a net loss of parking and loss of access to the beach for Californians, and would generally make the road less pleasant and less safe. Do we really want Vista del Mar to turn into a freeway?

Thank you for looking into this.

Update: You can find contact information for the Coastal Commission here.

He followed-up with an email to LADOT and Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office.

Hello! I would like to express my happiness at the current lane situations on Vista del Mar, Culver, and Pershing Blvds. With the recent changes to light timing and the lane tweaks the traffic situation seems to have been fully ameliorated. I feel safe driving on Vista del Mar for the first time now! It used to be a race track with cars weaving in and out at high speed, occasionally creating collisions that stopped traffic completely. Now traffic goes at a reasonable speed and even at rush hour there isn’t much of a delay. I recently travelled north at 930 am and drove the speed limit the entire way. Hopefully a few reactionaries won’t get the lanes removed without a study. This is LA, traffic is to be expected, and the current configuration on Vista del Mar, Culver, and Pershing is the best of both worlds.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, is done to ensure Vista del Mar doesn’t return to the deadly, high-speed raceway it used to be once the restoration is complete.

And if Bonin can resist the pressure to return the other streets to their original dangerous configurations.

……….

Vision Zero LA tweeted a photo of the new Active Transportation Team at LADOT; 21 people, by my count.

It was only a few years ago that the entire active transportation staff at the agency consisted of former Senior Bicycle Coordinator Michelle Mowery.

Let’s hope that the larger staff leads to a better job of communicating than they’ve done lately.

………

We could all use some good news these days. Like these stories gleaned from yesterday’s headlines.

A Willow Glen CA man joined with his brother, sister and brother-in-law to bike 300 miles through Minnesota, raising $10,000 for healthcare clinics in the Congo.

From Texas comes the story of a newly elected Dallas city councilwoman who led an 11-year fight to stop a planned $1.7 billion highway expansion that would have destroyed a local waterway, after scouting it out on her bicycle.

Austin TX honors three cops and four civilians who joined together to save the life of a woman whose bike was hit by a spinning car following a crash, lifting the 3,000 pound vehicle off her so she could be rescued. Thanks to Steve Katz for the heads-up.

Nice story from North Carolina, where locals knew a man who rode his bike everywhere as Bicycle Johnny. And the whole town came together to pay for his funeral when he died.

Also from North Carolina, the inspiring story of a bike rider who befriended the driver who ran him down and left him briefly paralyzed, as well as the doctor who saved his legs and his life; a year to the day after the crash, he’ll join that doctor in running in a half marathon.

………

Cycling Weekly lists the six most bizarre non-cycling injuries sustained by professional cyclists. Although they limit it to the modern era, starting with Greg LeMond’s turkey shoot in which he ended up being the turkey.

A pair of websites question the fairness of allowing transgender pro cyclist Jillian Bearden to compete as a woman in the new Colorado Classic bike race, which begins today in Colorado Springs.

Kiwi rider Jesse Sergent makes the difficult transition from pro cyclist to real estate agent.

……….

Local

Speaking of good news, the Militant Angeleno is back with his latest epic CicLAvia guide, just in time for Sunday’s San Pedro meets Wilmington event. Personal issues will keep me from attending this one, so feel free to send photos or stories from the event for Monday’s post.

Longbeachize says a proposal to stripe bike lanes on Junipero Ave in Long Beach is lacking in imagination, for both drivers and bicyclists.

 

State

One more in the “I’m a cyclist but…” category. A San Diego letter writer says he’s been commuting to work by bike for 20 years, but that city officials goal of an 18% bicycling mode share is just burdening the public unless they ride, too. But since when is getting people out on their bikes a burden?

San Jose gets a temporary pop-up protected bike lane, as representatives of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, aka NACTO, visit to advise the city on how to create a world-class bicycling network.

The Sacramento Bee offers a drone’s-eye view of 20 bicyclists with Type 1 diabetes who rode through the city on a 4,280-mile journey that began in New York.

 

National

The Adventure Cycling Association is planning to add 400 miles to the 2,700-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, already the world’s longest mountain biking trail.

Ex-Tour de France winner Floyd Landis introduces a hemp-oil CBD supplement for athletic aches and pains.

Bicycling offers advice on how to extend the life of your drivetrain.

A representative of the Denver Department of Environmental Health says traffic fatalities are a public health crisis, and Vision Zero is the solution.

Paramedics in Jackson Hole WY may take to their bikes to get around during the solar eclipse later this month, concluding it could be the fastest way to reach people who need help.

Kindhearted Omaha NE paramedics give a girl a refurbished bicycle to replace the one a man stole from her in a strong-arm robbery. Although the TV station seems confused as to just how many girls there are in the story.

The prosecution has rested in the case of the Pennsylvania cyclist charged with deliberately obstructing traffic on multiple occasions; an off-duty cop testified the rider intentionally crashed into his car, then claimed the car hit him.

Cambridge, Mass pulls the plug on a protected bike lane in mid-construction after local businesses complain, putting the job on hold for 30 days.

Someone is riding his bicycle up to the windows of New York cab drivers, and stealing their cash.

A New Jersey bike group visits the castles of Muenster, Germany.

A DC advocacy group calls for sharing trails with ebike users.

A concerned Florida motorist was already on the phone with 911 to report a dangerously reckless driver when the allegedly stoned driver struck a bike rider; police found cocaine, marijuana, hash oil and drug paraphernalia in his car.

 

International

A new study from the University of Duh says middle-aged men, aka MAMILs, don’t take up riding because of a mid-life crisis, but because of the enjoyment they get from bicycling.

Good writes about those vaporware Chinese smog-eating bikes, saying prototypes should be on the streets of Beijing by the end of the year.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to drive drunk and scream racial slurs at the cop that pulls you over, always have a bike in your trunk to attempt a getaway.

And if you’re carrying a debit card and company ID belonging to someone else, as well as burglary tools, and have an outstanding warrant, maybe a train platform isn’t the best place to ride your bike.

 

Morning Links: Vision Zero Action Plan needs work, LA could miss out on speed cams, and SPPD finds a Felt

Streetsblog’s Joe Linton reports on yesterday’s presentation of the proposed Vision Zero Action Plan to the city council’s Transportation Committee.

According to Linton, the plan “takes a lot of words and charts to say very little” and rather than listing specific actions to be taken, merely lists “40 key corridors where something unspecified might happen.”

Evidently, committee chair Mike Bonin agreed, pressing LADOT and LAPD to come back in 60 days to report on implantation, citations for the five leading violations that contribute to traffic fatalities, and a “no profiling” pledge.

………

Speaking of Vision Zero, page 38 of the Action Plan says the city will “consider” legislation to allow automated speed enforcement.

Something that is already being considered in the state legislature. But only for San Francisco and San Jose, which have been pushing for legalized speed cameras for some time.

If LA is serious about eliminating traffic deaths, which seems questionable given the lack of specificity in the plan, they will work with SoCal representatives in the state legislature to ensure that Los Angeles is included in any pilot program.

The city can’t afford to hire enough cops to provide round-the-clock patrols of all 6,500 miles of streets within its jurisdiction. And without adequate speed enforcement, Vision Zero will fail.

Thanks to Richard Masoner of Cyclelicious for the link.

………

If this is your Felt, the South Pasadena Police Department may have some good news for you.

………

The former head of the US Postal team says Greg LeMond is obsessed with Lance Armstrong, which is why he’s so focused on possible motor doping. Maybe so, but he was right about Lance’s doping when no one else wanted to believe it, myself included.

Former Tour de France champ Federico Bahamontes says race radios are ruining pro cycling, and racing should go back to being more about attacks and less about tactics. Meanwhile, USA Cycling decides to expand their use instead.

A dozen pro cyclists anonymously discuss their experiences with sexism and abuse in women’s cycling. Clearly, there’s a major problem here that has to be addressed.

………

Local

CHP officers in Santa Monica fatally shot a Simi Valley man who fled on a bicycle after stabbing his roommate last week; investigators said it appeared to be a case of suicide by cop.

A large mixed-use project in Santa Monica would include a 1,700-foot Bike Center, if it gets built; opponents are pushing for a park at the site instead.

The rich get richer, as Long Beach votes to update its pedestrian and bicycle master plans to make the bike-friendly city even more welcoming for people on foot and bikes, by focusing on low-income communities that have largely been left out up to this point.

 

State

Caltrans is looking for comments on its first statewide bicycle and pedestrian plan, with a goal of making it safe, convenient and comfortable for anyone to walk or ride a bike by 2040. Which is a long damn time off.

China Daily says Chinese app-based bikeshare company Bluegogo is now seeking permits from city leaders to operate in San Francisco, while an Op-Ed in the Examiner accuses them of bringing chaos to the city’s public spaces.

Sad news from Berkeley, where a bike rider was killed in a collision Wednesday morning.

A Bay Area cyclist writes about the struggle to find a balance between bicycling and an eating disorder.

A Fairfield driver faces felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run for allegedly intentionally crashing into a woman riding her bike after his passenger yelled insults at her out the window.

 

National

A writer for Bike Portland asks if the city’s lack of gated communities has contributed to its success as a bicycling community. On the other hand, LA’s relative lack of gated communities hasn’t exactly made it a bicyclist’s paradise.

A trio of Colorado counties are about to finalize a 670 acre land swap with the US Bureau of Land Management to open up more land for mountain biking.

I want to be like her when I grow up. A 78-year old great-grandmother from Montana has been bicycling across Europe and North America for the last 14 years, traveling an estimated 10,000 miles so far.

A Chicago weekly questions why a drunk driver got off with just ten days in jail for killing a man on a bike, comparing the sentence to the Brock Turner rape case at Stanford.

The New York Times offers lessons on aging well gleaned from 105-year old French cycling champ Robert Marchand.

A writer for a DC paper explains why it’s so hard to get a driver charged for running down a bike rider.

The Florida sheriff’s deputy who shot an unarmed bike rider in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down and resulting to a $22 million judgment, is now in charge of security at the Palm Beach airport whenever President Trump flies into town. No, seriously. What could possibly go wrong?

 

International

A writer for Torontoist offers a great response to the city’s bike-hating columnist, with tongue planted so firmly in cheek it may pop out the other side.

A British soccer star is under investigation for a crash that injured a cyclist; he says the rider darted in front of him on a green light.

This is why people continue to die on our streets. A British bus company responsible for killing a bike rider earlier this week had been the subject of numerous complaints, yet the company director insists cyclists have to take responsibility for collisions. Because you can’t actually expect drivers to operate their buses safely. Right?

Caught on video: A British driver just misses a bike rider in a painfully close pass, rather than step on the brakes, slow down and pass safely.

Caught on video too: A Brit cyclist unleashes a foul mouthed tirade at a bus driver following a far too close pass to avoid a pedestrian. Considering the language I’ve directed towards various motorists over the years — all well-deserved, of course — I’m the last one to judge anyone’s choice of words.

Four childhood friends are riding a pair of tandems 420 miles from Wales to Scotland, despite never riding one before. Or riding much, period.

An Australian website discusses the problem with Strava, saying it still has a way to go before it becomes a valuable tool for all bike riders

 

Finally…

What to wear when you’re riding your bike, but still want to hide from the paparazzi. Whatever you do, don’t take your bike on Air Canada.

And apparently, motorists abhor a vacuum.

 

Weekend Links: North Dakota could legalize killing peds, kid antichrist from The Omen convicted of road rage

Unbelievable.

In response to the ongoing pipeline protests, a North Dakota lawmaker introduces legislation making it legal for drivers to injure or kill a pedestrian blocking the roadway.

Yes, you read that right.

The bill would create an exemption under state law for drivers who crash into people in the roadway, whether they’re holding protest signs or, presumably, standing in a deserted roadway after their car breaks down.

It’s not hard to imagine the law being applied to bike riders who have the audacity to take the lane or ride two abreast, if someone concludes they were in the way.

Hopefully, the rest of the legislators will have a little more sense.

Credit Gary Kavanagh with the link.

………

Maybe the Devil made him do it.

The road-raging former child star of The Omen walked on a charge of assaulting cyclists. And on Friday the 13th, no less.

A British court sentenced Harvey Spencer Stephens, now 46, to a suspended 12-month sentence for getting out of his car and repeatedly punching two cyclists; he was also fined the equivalent of $2,500.

………

That’s one way to guarantee a legendary bike race — make it part of the name.

Singapore forms its first-ever road cycling team.

………

Local

The LA County Coroner ruled that mountain biker Evan Bruce Sisson died of heart disease, rather than crashing, after being found with injuries consistent with a fall above Altadena last January; results of the autopsy were delayed nearly a full year for additional forensic testing.

If you hurry, you may still have time to join Walk Bike Burbank’s New Year’s Ride today. Or you could join the LACBC Team at next month’s Chinatown Firecracker Ride and Run.

Santa Monica votes to convert unused tarmac at the Santa Monica Airport into a six-acre park suitable for bicycling, among other uses.

 

State

San Diego’s latest plan for bike lanes in the popular Hillcrest nightclub district will actually result in more parking, not the loss of parking business owners had feared, although the lanes will now be unprotected.

An apparent ninja cyclist was hit by a car shortly after dark in San Jacinto Friday.

Ventura will install bike lanes and other traffic calming measures to improve safety on dangerous Ventura Avenue, where most collisions involve a bicyclist or pedestrian.

San Francisco police are looking for a bike-riding mugger who attacked a 79-year old man.

Here’s another reason to do your riding outside. Patrons of a Marin County SoulCycle were placed on antibiotics after one of the regular customers died of meningitis.

It’s more like bad karma, as Willow Glen’s Good Karma Bikes suffers two break-ins in just two hours, losing at least $3,000 worth of merchandise.

 

National

Seattle drives a stake through the heart of its troubled bikeshare system, reallocating the last $3 million budgeted for the program to pay for other bike and pedestrian safety improvements.

The Fort Wayne IN newspaper says drivers need to stop for red lights. Clearly, it’s not just bike riders who go through traffic signals, despite what some drivers seem to think.

Ohio’s Bike Lady has raised over $600,000 to buy nearly 8,200 bicycles for at-risk kids across the state; last year, every kid who asked for a bike got one.

 

International

Three London teenagers face prison terms up to 13 years for fatally stabbing an aspiring rapper in a dispute over a stolen bicycle.

After BBC presenter Jeremy Vine recorded a road-raging driver attempting to run her down, her lawyer claims he exaggerated the whole thing to boost his online presence; she reportedly made a gun gesture pointed at his head.

Welsh ambulance authorities were forced to apologize after leaving an injured bike rider lying in the street for two hours; they blamed people needlessly calling the UK’s equivalent of 911.

A British radio station says the Dutch reach is the one thing we can all do to save cyclists lives. Other than slowing down and driving safely, of course.

Britain’s Cyclist magazine offers fifty tips to make you a better one. A cyclist, that is, not a magazine.

A study in a Malta medical journal calls for mandatory bike helmets for kids under 18, but not for adults, in order to avoid discouraging potential cyclists.

An Aussie writer goes on a half-day ride through Johannesburg’s Soweto district.

 

Finally…

No pandas for Peter Sagan in Australia. If you try to assault an elderly man, at least keep your wheels under you.

And seriously, don’t throw volleyballs at bike cops.

 

Morning Links: KNBC jumps the gun with complaint over NELA safety project that hasn’t been built yet

You’ve got to be kidding.

KNBC-4 ran a story on Friday about the horrible, terrible, unbearable delays caused by a traffic calming project on Fletcher Road in Glassell Park.

Never mind that it hasn’t even been built yet.

Citing unnamed residents opposed to the project, they then proceed to talk to just one, who is up in arms — not over the project itself — but simply over the start of construction, claiming to have “road diet refugee post traumatic stress disorder”* after having fled from Rowena Avenue following that successful road diet.

Only to find that her drive to her kid’s school is now inhibited by the very start of a project designed to improve safety so maybe her kids won’t have to be driven to school.

This is how a local resident in the area, who prefers not to be named, explained the non-controversy to me.

The Fletcher Streetcape project (a plan first initiated in 2006, by then-Councilmember Garcetti) includes bike lanes, new crosswalks, new curb ramps, benches, 70 trees and a landscaped median in the one mile corridor. A woman who claims to have moved to Glassell Park/Mt. Washington, away from Silver Lake because of the road diet there, was angry when she noticed construction had begun on this project last week.

She posted a rant titled ‘road rage’ on social media site Next-Door about how she had only seen one cyclist in her ten years of driving there, how all cyclists on that street are just headed to the LA River, how she was a cyclist in NYC for 20 years but that she would never ride in LA… she even went so far as to say that the notorious Avenues gang is active in this area, and she worries the DOT didn’t take this into account.

Basically, she was able to incite lots of hate which prompted over 100 replies, some of which agreed with her and some which pointed out for all her complaints about supposed “congestion,” the goal is safety.

The irony is that she moved out of Silver Lake because of the road diet, but now drives back there daily to take her kid to school. And of course, she ignores the fact that the street she was using as a speedway is home to two schools.

KNBC is undoubtedly patting themselves on the back for getting this “controversy” out there, when they should be hanging their heads in shame for taking such a negative view of such a badly needed project to improve safety for everyone, not just people on bicycles.

Maybe next time they could wait until it’s finished before pushing any more complaints out onto the public.

*Not a recognized psychiatric disorder

………

If you were assaulted by an SUV driver while riding at the intersection of Lucille and Griffith Park Blvd, contact weshigh, who may have a photo of the vehicle; he says the same driver nearly ran over him and his wife as they walked in a crosswalk.

………

There’s a new leader in the Vuelta, as the Tour of Spain is now being led by a Spaniard. Riders competing in the race call it insanely hard, as the projected leaders fear showing their hand too soon.

Many riders may be more concerned about securing a contract for next year than winning the next stage.

And Frank Schleck won the equivalent of $2.23 million from his former team after he was dumped 11 months into a one year doping ban.

………

Local

The LACBC is hiring a full-time Development Director and an Organizing Director.

LA Bike Dad looks at the moments of serendipity that only come from riding a bicycle.

A Manhattan Beach author is riding cross-country to gather stories for a book exploring the emotional and psychological impact cancer has on a variety of people.

Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson recommends daytime riding lights in his own inimitable style.

West Hollywood’s WeHo Pedals bikeshare has its official grand opening tomorrow.

Orange 20 welcomes the return of the New Urbanism Film Festival this October.

 

State

Over 3,500 San Diego cyclists take part in the annual Bike the Bay over the Coronado Bridge.

A San Marcos street in a former industrial area has been reborn as a 1/3 mile complete street with broad sidewalks, bike lanes, angled parking and new landscaping fronting the area’s new apartment buildings.

Santa Clara bike riders could lose a popular bike and pedestrian bridge originally built by Intel as a temporary bridge over a gully two decades ago.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a 92-year old bike rider was killed when he allegedly veered out of the bike lane; friends remember him as a fun loving, giving man who didn’t let his age get in the way of what he loved doing.

 

National

Access Magazine looks at how improving safety and providing better access for bike riders could encourage more people to ride.

The leading candidate to operate Seattle’s struggling bikeshare system proposes converting to an all-electric bike fleet to encourage riding in the hilly city.

Indiana cyclists have to contend with angry and impatient motorists. Then again, New Zealand is no bargain, either.

Brooklyn’s bicycling culture is not enough to protect cyclists on the streets of New York’s most bike-friendly borough.

There’s a special place in hell for the thief who stole a truck filled with $37,000 worth of bikes and parts from the Wounded Warrior Project in Pittsburgh.

Ann Holton, the wife of Virginia Senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, is one of us; she formed a bike club for neighborhood women called Mother Bikers. Then again, Kaine is one of us, too.

 

International

A new study shows moderate walking or biking can cut the risk of cardiac death by 50% for people over 65.

A Brit cyclist rides 65 miles a day to combat the effects of PTSD.

A Scottish writer says Great Britain’s domination of Olympic cycling is great, but won’t improve safety on the country’s roads.

An Edinburgh man circled the world in 12 months on a singlespeed bike; surprisingly, he found Iran the most welcoming country on his trip.

Be grateful you only have to take off your shoes to go through airport security. An Indian paracyclist says he was humiliated when he was forced to take off his prosthetic leg.

Caught on video: An Aussie cop knocks a 13-year old boy off his bike after the boy swore at the officers when they told him to get off the road.

Just days after a Japanese driver killed a pedestrian while playing Pokémon GO, a cyclist was killed as a driver was distracted by charging his cellphone after running the battery down playing the game.

 

Finally…

Most bicycles hardly ever burst into flames. Not only is bicycling the new golf, it’s the new real estate agent, as well.

And why bother with selfies and helmet cams when you can film your next offroad descent by drone?

 

Morning Links: Hard-hitting Aussie traffic PSAs, cops lectured by bike riders, and more kindhearted people

Australia’s Queensland state introduces a hard-hitting ad campaign to drive home the cost of traffic violence.

Here in Southern California, most traffic deaths never even make the news.

Maybe something like this could finally wake people up to the realization that the cost of the unhindered automotive hegemony on our streets is just too damn high.

………

Caught on video:

A driver gets lectured by a cyclist after failing to signal and observe the three-foot passing law — and turns out to be the chief of police for St. Paul MN, who took it surprisingly well.

A Florida cop gets an earful when he mistakenly tries to tell a cyclist to get on the sidewalk.

………

More kindhearted people in today’s bike news.

An Oregon man scours the local landfill looking for bikes he can fix and give away to children; if he sees kids walking he’ll ask if they need a bike.

Texas police dig into their own pockets to buy a special needs boy a new bicycle after his was stolen by a couple little kids.

Missouri police donate an unclaimed bicycle to a woman who relied on her bike for transportation after it was stolen while she worked as an election volunteer.

South Dakota state troopers pitch in to buy teenage boy a new bicycle after they stopped him walking along a freeway, and learned he had to walk eight miles to work every day.

………

The men’s Olympic mountain bike race ended in a mirror finish of the London Olympics; the results left Peter Sagan feeling flat. Meanwhile, the youngest rider on the course won the women’s race.

Mara Abbott writes movingly about coming so close to winning gold in the Rio road race.

Chris Froome is off to a good start in the Vuelta a España following the team time trial.

And any jerk can steal a bicycle; it takes a special kind of jerk to steal a painted cow from the 2012 London Olympic course that was going to be auctioned off for charity.

………

Local

Richard Risemberg calls for revolution, one council seat at a time.

Shinola brings their Built-in-Detroit ethos to the Grove. Which it turns out is more of an assembled in Detroit ethos, but still.

Santa Monica’s California Incline will reopen on September 1st with new bike lanes and walkways leading to and from PCH.

Santa Monica will host this year’s Kidical Mass ride on September 17th.

Temple City will install stop signs and other traffic measures to improve safety at the intersection of Rosemead Blvd and Sereno Drive, where a bike rider was hit by a car last year.

 

State

An Orange County supervisor successfully lobbied for a bike and pedestrian path along a flood control channel to allow kids to get to school and a park more easily.

The lawyer for a Fresno basketball coach who was sentenced to 12-years in prison for the drunk driving crash that took the life of a seven-year old bike rider, and critically injured his 18-month old sister, has filed a motion to withdraw his no-contest plea, arguing that a new video shows no one, drunk or sober, could have avoided the crash.

Hikers, equestrians and environmental groups are joining in opposition to plans to open backcountry watershed trails in San Francisco’s East Bay to mountain bikes.

The executive director of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition says there’s been an alarming increase in drivers deliberately targeting people on bicycles. Anyone threatening a cyclist with a motor vehicle should automatically face a charge of assault with a deadly weapon, and do time upon conviction.

There’s also been a jump in bike thefts in Marin County, with roughly 300 bicycles stolen so far this year.

 

National

Advice on how to ride a bike with your dog.

An Aussie couple are riding across the US with their autistic son, traveling over 3,000 miles from Washington to Washington. Hopefully, they won’t have to deal with a rampaging raccoon.

Dallas wisely agrees to void a $259 fine for riding a bicycle without a helmet, which isn’t illegal for adults in Texas.

A photographer catches a woman and her bike being washed off a Lake Michigan breakwater.

A young Turkish woman is making what her doctors call a miraculous recovery after being the victim of a hit-and-run while riding her bike in Ohio early last month.

Sometimes a bike is just a bike; this one is more than that to a local St. Louis community.

Plans are gaining speed for a 60-mile bike and pedestrian trail connecting 24 towns along the Delaware River.

Many people who ride across the country do it to raise awareness for a cause. A 50-year old Florida woman raised awareness for 50 causes, one for each of the 50 days of her journey.

 

International

How to survive bicycling on Bolivia’s Death Road.

Sing a song about bicycling with Shakira, and next thing you know, your own bike gets stolen.

Good news, as the British sportscaster who nearly died from malaria after riding from the UK to Rio has awakened from her coma.

An Edmonton, Canada blogger crunched the numbers to determine that riding in a separated shared path is safer than a painted bike lane. Meanwhile, the Edmonton cyclist who was the subject of racial slurs from a road raging driver and his passengers feels more hopeful after a meeting with the mayor.

Caught on video too: Toronto police are investigating after a cab driver swerved into a delivery cyclist after allegedly arguing with the rider for two blocks.

A Toronto writer says it’s okay to yield during your commute, and a little bit of empathy would benefit everyone. Which should be emblazoned on the inside of every windshield in LA. And on every handlebar.

Inspired by the exploits of the British cycling team, a Welsh reporter takes a stab at track cycling.

Leicester, England, home of the world’s most improbable soccer champs, responds to a cycling fatality by investing £2 million — the equivalent of $2.6 million — in a two-way cycle track along a major roadway. That’s exactly how Vision Zero is supposed to work; we may not be able to prevent all deaths, but we can take steps to keep them from happening again.

Bike Radar issues ten very British, and very amusing, cycling problems.

The rich get richer. Bike-friendly Barcelona commits to spending $36 million on new bike lanes. Which is about $36 million more than LA has committed to support the bike lanes called for in the new Mobility Plan.

Good idea. Malta cyclists call on the government to make it illegal to obstruct bike racks.

Pakistani police allegedly beat two young boys accused of bike theft.

A Muslim Chinese man rode his bike over 5,000 miles to perform the Haj in Saudi Arabia.

 

Finally…

It’s not unusual to find things while you’re riding; a human skull, not so much. Or an English hyena, for that matter. The very definition of irony: A bicycle honoring the late great Muhammad Ali was stolen from the gym where he got his start in boxing after his bicycle was stolen.

And let’s finish today by watching Coldplay ride BMX bikes around Mexico City.

Describe Your Ride: What riding a bike can teach us about driving a car

Here’s a little different take on this feature. 

Brian Dotson offers insights on what he’s learned about “mindful driving” by riding his bike in the suburbs of Houston, which he compares to Anaheim.

And that may be my favorite new phrase of the year. 

……..

I’d like to describe one of my ride’s effects on me.

I cycle primarily for transport in the suburbs of Houston Texas.  My environment is like that around Anaheim.  We’ve got a few shared-use routes like your Santa Ana River Trail, and we’re getting more.  And these trails are really good when they go the right direction.  But to reach destinations like work, stores, and public services, I have to cycle with motor vehicle traffic.

Consequently most of my cycling is on suburban roads with 35-50 mph posted speed limits, and my primary objective is preventing collisions.  Over the past ten years I’ve gotten in the habit of replaying each trip in my head, thinking through ways to reduce my risk.  As recently as my last trip to an infrequent location, I decided to adjust my route to handle a specific situation at an intersection in a different way.  This “mindful cycling” is a habit that kicks in anytime I ride, even on the shared-use trails.

Earlier this year I had occasion to think about the pyramid of traffic casualties that is topped by over 300 deaths per year in Harris County, Texas.  By far, the majority of the casualties are motor vehicle occupants.  So I decided to start “mindful driving” when motoring.

Wow.  I’m finding it incredibly difficult to change 40+ years of habit.  What drove this home for me was the day I started off with no radio (no distractions for “mindful driving,” of course) and when I got to my destination, the radio was on!  All by itself!

Why is this?  It must be because I’m a highly-trained, above-average driver who is so experienced that thinking about my driving experiences and looking for ways to improve just aren’t worthwhile.

Yeah, right.

Much more likely is that 40+ years of mindless habits inside a steel box are very hard to break.

So my ride has shown me that I have a driving problem.

I need help.  I’ve recruited my daughter to help me say a little reminder that “no one gets hurt around us on this trip” when we set off in a motor vehicle.  Maybe going public with my problem will help. I really want to drive as safely as I cycle.

……..

If you’d like to share your ride with us, just send it to the email address on the About BikinginLA page. It can be a rant, rave or anything in between, from a few sentences to a detailed description. Or any other format you think tells the story best, however and wherever you ride.

Let’s keep the conversation going.

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